Breakfast briefing: Wednesday, July 19 (Update) - Business News | The Star Online

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Breakfast briefing: Wednesday, July 19 (Update)


MarketWatch: A Netflix rally boosted the Nasdaq Composite to a record high on Tuesday while Goldman Sachs Group Inc dragged the Dow lower as earnings take centre stage on Wall Street. The Nasdaq posted its eighth consecutive session of gains, the longest streak since its 10-day string in February 2015. The DJIA fell 54.99 points, or 0.25%, to 21,574.73, the S&P 500 gained 1.47 points, or 0.06%, to 2,460.61 and the Nasdaq added 29.87 points, or 0.47%, to 6,344.31. - Reuters

 

Energy

 

Oil prices rose slightly on Tuesday as Saudi exports fell and solid demand soaked up some of what is seen as an oversupplied market, but Ecuador's decision to opt out of an Opec-led supply reduction pact complicated the outlook. Benchmark Brent crude LCOc1 settled up 42 cents at US$48.84 a barrel. - Reuters

 

Forex summary

*The ringgit lost 0.01% to 4.2855 versus the US$

*It was down 0.09% to 4.9464 versus euro

*Up 0.01% to 5.5842 per pound sterling

*Down 0.07% to 3.1364 per Singapore dollar

*Down 0.09% to 3.3976 per Aussie

*Down 0.08% to 3.8267 per 100 yen

 

Top foreign stories

 

Western Digital CEO meeting Japan officials over Toshiba: Western Digital Corp CEO Steve Milligan is in Japan to meet government officials, aiming to resolve a dispute with Toshiba Corp over the Japanese company's planned sale of its chip business, sources familiar with the matter said on Tuesday. - Reuters

 

McCormick to buy Reckitt's food unit for more than US$4b: McCormick & Co Inc is set to buy the food business of British consumer goods conglomerate Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc for more than US$4 billion, the Financial Times reported on Tuesday, citing people close to the matter.

McCormick, a US manufacturer of spices and herbs, beat out competition from a number of bidders and an announcement of the deal could come as early as Tuesday evening, the FT reported. - Reuters

 

US banks pay up for big deposits as consumers get pennies: Big US banks are starting to pay corporations, financial firms and rich people more to hold on to their deposits, but ordinary consumers will have to wait longer to see more than a few pennies for every US$100 they stash in their accounts. Banks including JPMorgan Chase & Co, Bank of America Corp, Wells Fargo & Co and PNC Financial Services Group lifted rates for sophisticated customers' deposits during the second quarter, executives said when discussing earnings in recent days. - Reuters

 

Goldman execs scrutinise bond trading after revenue nosedives: Goldman Sachs Group Inc's management team is looking for ways to revive the bank's bond trading business and drum up more revenue from existing clients who have lately become less profitable for the bank. The Wall Street bank on Tuesday reported a 40% slump in second-quarter bond trading revenue, worse than many analysts had expected, and posted the weakest commodities results in its history as a public company. - Reuters

 

IBM misses revenue estimates, weighed down by legacy businesses: IBM Corp on Tuesday reported a lower-than-expected quarterly revenue, as growth in its higher-margin businesses that include cloud and artificial intelligence services failed to make up for declines across legacy business segments. IBM's total revenue dipped 4.7% fall to US$19.29 billion, marking the steepest fall in five quarters. - Reuters

 

Top local stories

 

Ekovest to get 30 more acres for KL River City project: Ekovest Bhd will receive another 30 acres, making it a total of 60 acres, for work involving the rehabilitation of the Gombak River. Managing director Datuk Seri Lim Keng Cheng said that as part of a land swap deal with the government, Ekovest will be developing a non-mechanical Gombak River Enhancement And Tunnel (Great) system for the 2.2km portion of the river. Lim said the development of the Great system would take 21⁄2 years to complete and cost RM950mil. - StarBiz

 

Prestariang signs 15-year deal: Prestariang Bhd has entered into a 15-year concession agreement with the Government for the implementation of a RM3.5bil integrated technology platform to modernise the core applications and infrastructure of the country’s immigration system. - StarBiz

 

Axiata and shareholders won’t sell M1 stakes: Axiata Group Bhd , along with two other substantial shareholders of M1 Ltd - Keppel Telecommunications & Transportation Ltd and Singapore Press Holdings Ltd - have decided against the sale of their respective stakes in the Singapore wireless carrier. - StarBiz

 

June inflation seen at May’s level: Malaysia’s headline inflation as measured by the consumer price index (CPI) for June is expected to be unchanged from May at 3.9% year-on-year, a survey of economists shows. The Statistics Department will release the CPI data on Wednesday that may show headline inflation continues to come down on lower fuel prices and a stabilising ringgit. - StarBiz

 

Creador affiliate invests RM180m in India hospital chain: Commelina Ltd, an affiliate of Creador III LP, is investing RM180mil for a minority stake in a North Indian hospital chain Paras Healthcare Pvt Ltd. Paras operates five hospitals with a total of 730 beds, offering secondary and tertiary care services, Creador said. - StarBiz

 

AFG may be looking to merge with HLB: Talk has emerged that Alliance Financial Group Bhd (AFG) could be looking to merge with Hong Leong Bank Bhd (HLB). AFG, the smallest financial institution in Malaysia in terms of asset size, could be the acquirer, instead of being the target company to be acquired, says UOBKayHian Research. - StarBiz

 

TNB grants SIPP Energy second extension: Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) has granted SIPP Energy Sdn Bhd a second extension to fulfil conditions under a shareholders agreement for the acquisition of a 51% stake in Southern Power Generation Sdn Bhd. - StarBiz

 

OCR secures RM324m Putrajaya project: O&C Resources Bhd (OCR) has won a RM324mil contract from Damansara Realty Bhd (DRealty) to undertake a civil servant housing project in Putrajaya. - StarBiz

 

Report: Property sector likely to recover in H2 of 2018: The domestic property sector is expected to recover in the second half of 2018 even as mortgage loans applications and approvals could be bottoming out, according to a Maybank Research report. The research house is maintaining a “neu- tral” call on the sector. - StarBiz

 

Stronger earnings seen for Hong Leong Bank: Maybank Investment Bank Research (Maybank IB Research) is positive on Hong Leong Bank’s fundamentals and is raising the earnings forecast for the financial years 2018 and 2019 by 2.5% and 3.1%, respectively. - StarBiz

 

Bank Negara: Loan criteria review won’t resolve affordable housing issue: Access to financing is not the main issue in affordable housing, said Bank Negara. “If the issue of affordable housing is to be resolved, all parties must be clear on the root cause of the matter and honestly strive to

help those affected by it,” it said. - StarBiz

 

SC reviews due diligence guidelines: The Securities Commission (SC) is reviewing its guidelines on due diligence for corporate proposals to enhance clarity, standardisation and accountability. SC deputy chief executive Datuk Ahmad Fairuz Zainol Abidin said the review process would involve collaboration with industry as well as legal and accounting professionals. - StarBiz

Breakfast Briefing

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